Up to Monday, the Barbados Fire Service had tackled almost 700 more fires this year as compared to a similar period last year.
But while fires are up, most of the other services the BFS usually provides were down.
So far this year, firemen responded to 1,948 fires ranging from private dwellings, to motor vehicles, sugar canes and rubbish, compared to 1,289 up to December 17 last year.
The report of Fires and Special Services revealed there were 943 grass fires, 293 rubbish fires, 86 fires related to private dwellings, 75 cane fires and 60 electrical this year, to name a few.
By extension, there were 261 calls that turned out to be false alarms but were made with good intention, while another 106 were malicious false alarms.
The figures showed that false alarms, both genuine and malicious, were up compared to last year, when 67 false alarms were listed as malicious and 208 with good intent.
Eighteen of the fires this year were commercial and 42 involved motor vehicles, compared to 25 and 43, respectively a year ago.
In a complete reversal of the trends of 2011, fire fighters responded to 148 additional calls for special emergency services and 112 non-emergency special cases. The special emergencies included services like vehicle accidents — 82; gas leaks — 25; false alarms — 16, and rescues — 15, while non-emergencies covered such things as flushing areas, filling pools, supplying water, animal and other rescues, providing elevation and assistance in gaining entries to buildings.
The most frequent service provided in these cases was flushing areas — 21.
By comparison for 2012, there were 119 emergency services and 91 non-emergency services provided — 74 were motor vehicle accidents, 27 gas leaks, 22 “other special services” and 17 elevations.
In total, the Barbados Fire Service was pressed into action more this year, with 2,199 cases up to December 17, than last year when there was a total of 1,589 cases. (LB)